IllumiNative and Netflix have established independent participants for the IllumiNative Producers Program

IllumiNative and Netflix have established independent participants for the IllumiNative Producers Pr ...

The first-ever will include Ashley Browning (Lovers Cycle), Taylor Hensel ( (Where Are We Going?), Princess Daazhraii Johnson, Ivan MacDonald, Coyote Park (Destiny in Sedona), Blake Pickens, Mato Standing Soldier, and Kekama Amona, a Native woman-led racial and social justice organization. The three were selected based on their experience, their commitment to being a lifelong

The IllumiNative Producers Program will aim to provide early- and mid-career Indigenous producers with a year-long training program to guide their clients through the industry. Through the course of the year, the participants will meet monthly meetings and have access to networking opportunities with their cohort, as well as mentors and leaders.

We are pleased to announce the eight individuals selected to participate in the first-ever IllumiNative Producers Program, said IllumiNative's founder and executive director. We have launched this program to combat the historic lack of opportunity and investment in Native storytellers and to assist the next generation of Indigenous producers. Were excited to be involved in a dynamic and collaborative program, and we are grateful to our partners at Netflix, who are working to equip Indigenous creatives with the expertise and tools they need to succeed.

"The Producers Program gives us the opportunity to change the trajectory of the entertainment industry, which for too long excluded Native stories," said IllumiNative's chief impact officer, Leah Salgado. "This cohort of Indigenous producers is demonstrating the complex and diversity of our community, and we believe that investing in and supporting Native producers will increase Native representation and create new opportunities to champion Native storytellers and Native stories.

The first cohort and their initiatives were officially starting today, as part of a fund for creative equity created by IllumiNative. More information can be found below.

Ashley Browning (Pueblos of Pojoaque)

Ashley Browning (she/her) is from the Pueblos of Pojoaque and Santa Clara.


An overly optimistic young Native man struggles to understand the reality of his breakup, which reluctantly gives him a replacement for his family's toilet.

Taylor Hensel (Cherokee Nation)

Taylor Hensel (she/her) is a Cherokee citizen.

(Where Are We Going?)

In Cherokee mode, a mosaic of memories from elders about their connection to their homelands.

Princess Daazhraii Johnson (Neets'aii Gwich'in)

Princess Daazhraii Johnson (he/her) is a Neets'aii Gwich'in living on Alaska's lower Tanana Dene.


Making a narrative film that focuses on Gwich'in culture and language.

Ivan MacDonald (Blackfeet)

Ivan MacDonald (he/him) is an active member of the Blackfeet Tribe.

Buffalo Stone

The characters must navigate between their past and present to overcome trauma, connected to Blackfeet's culture and the Iniskim, the stone that helps sing the buffalo back.

Coyote Park (Yurok)

Coyote Park (he/they) is a 2Spirit transgender artist from the Kingdom of Hawai'i, living in the Pacific diaspora, where they are mixed Korean, German, and Yurok (Native to Northern California).

Sedona's Destiny

Destiny in Sedona is a feature film starring two elderly lovers, a rough edged trucker and a shapeshifting drifter, on a road trip from California to Arizona, collaborating on their lives.

Blake Pickens (Chickasaw)

Blake Pickens (he/him) is a Los Angeles based Chickasaw.

Hermit of the Holocaust

A Chickasaw Catholic priest is examining a legend that there is a hermit guarding an ancient holy relic in the Appalachian hills. A folk myth.

Oglala Lakota, the Mato Standing Soldier

Mato Wayuhi (formerly known as Mato) is an Oglala Lakota artist from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


Three siblings from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota moved to Los Angeles in search of more opportunities than their neighbors had ever imagined.

Kanaka Maoli, Kekama Amona (he/him) | O'ahu, Hawaii

Scott W. Kekama Amona, who lives on the island of O'ahu, is an award-winning educator and filmmaker with a creative understanding of makawalu (eight-eyes) and a multiple-perspective mindset.

The Man and the Tree

A Hawaiian family prepares ceremonially for their elder's departure from this world and, in the process, renews their inherent connection to their land and the reciprocal cycle of living.

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